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  • Frame Rate Vs. Shutter Speed – Setting The Record Straight

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Here is a great article by Sam Morrill on the difference of Frame Rate vs. Shutter Speed. For all you DSLR video shooters this is great information to know.

    http://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/56/frame-rate-vs-shutter-speed-setting-the-record-straight

    “In this day and age of constantly changing gear and technology, there’s a growing set of vocabulary that we video creators are all expected to learn. With so much jargon being thrown around, it can be easy to forget certain concepts or confuse them for other ones. A prime example of this is demonstrated by the confusion between frame rates and shutter speeds. Let’s taken a minute to clarify.” – Sam Morrill

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    Posted by Danita in Cameras, Canon, Gear, Shooting Tips, Stock Footage || Comment Now ||
  • Danita’s Musings on Footage Topics

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    I’ve been contemplating the whole “footage subjects” idea now for some time. I’ve talked with clients to see what they have on the horizon (if anything) and in general here are my thoughts on the types of things you should keep in mind for footage subjects.

    First of all, think story ideas when they lend themselves to that.  Look at a topic and think “single” clip or “story idea.”  I’ve talked at length to textbook researchers and editors and they tell me that in the near future they’ll be incorporating footage links along with stills of the same subject.  Therefore, try to “double shoot” so you have both a clip as well as a still of a similar subject.  The idea is that the student will see a still shot in their electronic textbook, and then click on the footage link and see it in motion.  Teachers will also use this kind of technique when teaching in classrooms.  If any of you have kids in schools with Smart Boards, you’ll know what I mean.  The new schools have digital projectors and are hooked up to the internet so they often project the textbook (from password protected websites) while teaching and the video aspect will (hopefully) catch the attention of the students more than a still image will.

    With that said, think in terms of what kind of motion will show and teach our students about the natural world, world cultures, geography, math, etc.  Think about watching a grasshopper hop verses looking at a still image (Biology).  Think about a construction crane lifting and moving a very heavy object, or an escalator moving or a baggage conveyor belt moving (levers/pulleys/gears–Math books).  Think about traditional ritual, customs and ceremonies, dancers, rites of passage, (World Geography and/or Cultural Anthropology).  Try not to make your clips too long, so you are actually self-editing, but if you see a whole story that takes a few minutes, shoot it.  Clients can edit or cut the clips to their own needed length.

    You can come up with a million ideas really.  If you have any kids’ textbooks close at hand, thumb through them and you’ll see the kind of content they like.  It’s really not any different than all the other subjects you’ve been shooting in stills.  Just add the motion aspect to it, given the opportunity.

    Simple subjects too…a colored leaf falling to the ground in the Autumn, slowly floating down to the pile of leaves on the ground….  a babbling brook flowing over a rocky stream….palm trees blowing, weather in any form, waves crashing on a beach…

    In general, with editorial, you won’t need model releases, but if you have someone up close and personal doing something, even smiling or blowing a kiss to someone or the camera, you should try to get releases.  Think of someone licking their lips, smooching the air, high fiving someone, tossing a penny, taking a walk,

    maybe a couple from the back holding hands as they walk somewhere….or kids doing the same.  The subjects are endless.  Also when traveling in Europe look for French people greeting each other with kisses to each cheek or Italians talking with their hands (foreign language textbooks).  Regarding travel footage, just shoot the destination in a way that would appeal to travel clients trying to seduce someone to their country or culture.  More and more travel clients are moving towards on-line website marketing and/or e-blasts with links in them.  Motion is used more and more with travel destination marketing.  Just short clips are fine–10-30 seconds on a subject that you’re shooting stills of, adds another dimension to your offerings.

    I will say too that many agency colleagues have told us that they’re not selling much footage “yet” which is the key word.  If we position ourselves with content, then we can have it available as more and more clients move into those kinds of needs.  Our plan is to distribute through our sub-agents in other world markets as well, so we can get as much mileage as we can on the footage.  It’s a lot of work for everyone so we need to get it as many places as we can and be in a position for sales when people really start looking.  This is definitely a long term process. Remember too, that if you have elements in your photos or footage that represent a time and place, they will date much faster.  Nature is pretty much timeless, but people with certain hair or clothes styles or cars on the street will not last as long.  Try to avoid logos on clothing too because you can’t Photoshop them out of video very easily.

    Ok, enough of my musings.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this as 2011 evolves.  I just wanted to give you my take on what may be coming up down the road so you can keep these thoughts in mind as you move about the world in 2011.

    Footage Topics for Photographers to Consider

    At a recent program on Stock Footage, there was a panel from several stock agencies, each with their own presentation showing how their clients were using motion clips.  The following is a listing of topics that I jotted down while the clips whizzed by.  The variety of subjects here exemplifies just how wide open the subject matter is:

    Toddlers walking Water fountains Car problems
    Playground Traffic Fresh fruit picked
    Soccer Beg Ben Energy turbines
    Stadium Thames River Times Square
    Horse jumping Sidewalk cafes Floating markets
    Bicycle race Signs Arches
    Speedboat Venice gondolas Sedona
    Race cars Light bulb Family
    Skidoo Supertankers Parenting
    Sailboat Cruise ships Teens
    Surfboard Organic food/farmers Dancing
    Rafting Baskets of produce Jogging
    Heli skiing Jump roping Horseback riding
    Running in fields Bathing People
    Rushing river Camping Surgery
    Aerials Carnival Swimming
    Glaciers Sprinklers with kids Signing
    Clouds Couple/waves/beach Shopping
    Speeding train Cranes lifting/building site Ipod music listening
    Waterfalls Relaxation Relaxation/resort
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    Posted by Dave in Shooting Tips, Stock Footage || Comment Now ||
  • A Treasure Trove of HDLSR Resources!

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    A huge tip of the cap goes out to dslrvideoshooter.com for compiling this wonderful and comprehensive list of resources for DSLR users. Check out some of these sites to get the latest news, reviews and inspiration! And be sure to keep us on your radar as well! Enjoy.

    Blogs

    Philip Bloom - Now known as a leader in the HDSLR revolution, Philip Bloom has a lot of knowledge to share on his very popular blog.
    Planet 5D - Videos, news and more.
    DSLR News Shooter - DSLR News Shooter is dedicated to the use of the latest HDSLRs like the Canon Eos 5DmkII, 7D and Nikon D300s for news, documentary and factual shooting.
    Hurlbut Visuals - Shane Hurlbut shares knowledge on using HDSLR for filmmaking.
    FreshDV - Industry news, reviews and training resources for HDSLR users.
    Negative Spaces Blog - Ben Cain tests DSLRs and shares some tips on how to use them.
    Vincent Laforet’s Blog - Vincent is another leader in the DSLR revolution and is continually pushing these cameras to create captivating images.
    Cinema 5D News – Daily news feed for DSLR filmmakers.
    Wiegaertner Films – Sebastian Wiegärtner shares info, teaches HDSLR workshops and much more.
    DSLR HD - Blog with a interesting series called: Why You Should Not Shoot Video With A DSLR.
    ProLost - Stu share info on color correction, cameras and the like.
    Learning DSLR Video - Best blog for beginning HDSLR users. Dave explores shooting video on DSLRs and shares findings.
    No Film School - Home of The DSLR Cinematography Guide.
    Canon Filmmakers - One of the first kids on the DSLR-for-film block.
    DSLR Cinematography - News, reviews and tutorials for DSLR filmmakers.
    El Skid’s Blog – Robin Schmidt’s killer blog on filmmaking, HDSLR filmmaker and more.
    Nino Film - Commercial and documentary shooting with a stellar blog.
    A 550D User’s Blog – Michael Schmidt shares links, videos and more.
    7D Pro - Designed simply to provide an online presence for Canon EOS DSLR users
    Wide Open Camera – Tests, giveaways and great information for HDSLR users.
    Cheesy Cam – If your interested in DIY and DSLRs this is the blog for you.
    FStoppers – Information pertaining to professional photography of all kinds.
    Tom Guilmette – Sports and nature shooter who is always sharing tips and tricks.
    DV Culture – Online platform focused on Digital Video News, Product Reviews.
    Phil Hoyt – Sharing info on HDSLRs, gear and more.
    Digital SLR Shooter – Blog on Hybrid shooting and video production.
    Scene Blog – A Blog by Filmmakers For Filmmakers.
    Daniel Freytag’s Blog – DSLR related blog content.
    Need Creative – For those who are passionate about HDSLRs, Macs and other visual tech.
    Next WaveDV – The Next wave of digital video.
    5D Mark II Team – Improvements and Gear.

    Podcasts

    The C47iTunes – Learn lighting, shooting, and post workflow from a DSLR user.
    16×9 Cinema | iTunes – The home of Carl Olson’s ”Digital Convergence Podcast” and blog where he shares information, resources, and interviews industry professionals.
    Crossing the 180 | iTunes – Ron Dawson interviews filmmakers and talk about DSLRs in production.
    My DSLR Show – weekly web series for filmmakers using DSLR cameras.
    RED CentreiTunes – Wait… RED??? Yes, but lately Mike Seymour and Jason Wingrove cover a lot of DSLR topics and info.

    Forums

    EOS HD - Forum and blog sharing news and videos.
    Cinema5D - International HDSLR Forum with a great community.
    DVX User – Its a DVX user blog with HDSLR info to boot!
    Creative Cow – Creative Community of DSLR Users.

    Vimeo Groups

    Cinemacuteo Free Film School.
    DSLR Cinema.
    Canon DLSR Video Users Group.
    DSLR Filmmakers Group.
    Canon EOS 7D.

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  • From Still To Motion

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    From what I have read online and seen in a few tutorials, this book is an excellent resource for all photographers looking to make the move to video with their new DSLRs.

    All killer and no filler. Written by the experts in easy to understand language, From Still to Motion breaks down each step to get from beginner level clips to full length professional looking video production. It also includes a DVD with further instructions and tutorials to round out the most important lessons.

    Get your copy today and start the journey!

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    Posted by Dave in Shooting Tips || Comment Now ||
  • Tips for Shooting Video With Your New DSLR

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Here is a great beginners list taken from the Gadgets Blog over at the NYTimes. The author got to spend a day working with Canon expert Bruce Dorn on a commercial for the Canon T2i and came up with some very helpful observations:

    • It will take some practice, but you must learn to focus manually. For Mr. Dorn, autofocus is just not acceptable.

    • If your camera allows, use manual exposure settings when shooting video because exposures will change as you pan the camera.

    A good shutter speed for video is 1/50th second. That’s the “classic sweet spot,” Mr. Dorn said.

    • Set the ISO to 200.

    • He recommends an aperture setting of F/5.6, which he says is used by many cinematographers.

    • If your camera accommodates 24 fps video capture, use it.

    • Avoid auto white balance at all costs. Instead, pick one white balance mode and stick with it throughout the video.

    Use the camera’s neutral image setting; it will give you the most latitude for postproduction work.

    Focus where your subject will be, not where it is.

    • Always shoot a minimum of 15 seconds per take.

    Never shoot vertical, unless you want to mount your HDTV sideways.

    Invest in a good high-performance memory card. Slower cards will conk out when their buffer becomes overloaded.

    • If you’re serious about video, invest in an add-on microphone, like the $200 Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun microphone.

    Use a neutral density filter, like an N.3 or N.9; stick with one brand if you buy several filters.

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    Posted by Dave in Shooting Tips || Comment Now ||
  • Save the Date – Stock Footage Webinar

    Thursday, March 11, 2010
    Photo by Larry Ditto / Danita Delimont.com

    Photo © Larry Ditto / DanitaDelimont.com

    Although shooting video with DSLR cameras may be intimidating and confusing at first we feel that with the right guidance and information everyone can learn to embrace it and produce quality footage. As we have been moving into the footage market over the past few months we have come across many experts, useful tools, software and hardware that have proven to be very valuable. We are encouraging all of our still shooters to get into this new market and we now can show you how to do so with just a short learning curve and a modest investment in gear.

    We are pleased to announce that DanitaDelimont.com will be presenting a FREE 5 week online footage course for our contracted photographers starting April 5th.  Each Monday classes will be streamed live online from the Creative Techs classroom at Art Wolfe’s studio in Seattle and will also be available later for downloading from the Creative Techs website.


    The program is titled “Producing Great Stock Footage with Your DSLR”. Each week we will tackle different topics and will have various experts and product representatives leading the discussions. We will be updating you as the schedule is finalized, but be sure to mark Monday, April 5th at 11:00 AM Pacific time and the following four Mondays on your calendar.  There are also seats available in the studio audience so if you are in Seattle, please attend the live session!

    We look forward to helping you get acquainted with shooting and processing footage.  Let us help you to add a great new revenue stream to your business with much less effort than you ever imagined!

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  • PACA Update – Part 2

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Footage Shooting Tips

    While watching the stock footage shoot at the PACA International Meeting Sunday session, we got a chance to watch and talk with the participants for 3 hours as they went about creating several different stock footage clips.  Here is what I gleaned from the assembled practitioners.

    The Red ONE is an extremely good camera for the price. They love it. However, it is not easily portable in the sense of travel photography.  The tripod is enormous and the ancillary gear such as hard discs, field monitors, etc. requires having a multi-person crew.  In addition to the 2 models there were 6 others involved in the shoot.

    Focus is extremely important. The depth of field with a 135mm lens at about 15 feet was between 3 and 4 INCHES!  A turn of the model’s head and his beard went out of focus.  The 5D Mark all which was used to get the “B roll” shots had a much larger DOF and a different look because of the sharpness of the background.  This is both a limitation and a benefit of the DSLR hybrid that can be used for good effect.  Focusing the Mark all was very easy compared to the Red ONE.  The resulting “boca”, or area that is out of focus, is better with the DSLR.

    Canon 5d Mark II histogram

    Expose to the far right of the histogram whenever possible. The result looks overexposed on the viewfinder and on a monitor but can be easily corrected in post.  This technique saves the details that might otherwise be lost in the shadows.

    Other tips included:

    Think like you are shooting a silent movie (which you are!).  Tell the story without the sound.

    Shoot multiple compositions whenever possible. Do a close up, a wide angle, leave room for copy in one version, etc.

    Pans and zooms can be added in post if the original composition is created with this in mind. Shoot wider than you want for the final product and do the pan or zoom in post similar to the way you would do a crop in Photoshop or turn a still into a moving image.

    Avoid logos and trademarks. These can be removed in post but it requires a lot of work.  There is a list of places and things that are problematical on the PACA website.

    Get Down! The DSLR can get closer to the ground than a regular video camera and can also be more easily elevated with poles or booms to get unique perspectives.  Be creative, get unique shots.

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    Posted by Dave in Shooting Tips, Stock Footage || Comment Now ||
  • Ready, Steady, Go!

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Another way to get a steady shot and the highest quality footage in the field is to use a Stedi-cam. These use a counter balance to keep your camera steady and almost hover, allowing you to move freely and quickly without the camera shaking and causing the viewer motion sickness.

    Here are a few steadicams that are on the market today:

    Cavision RS1580D

    Glidecam 2000 Pro

    ABC Handyman 100

    SteadiCam Merlin

    Canon 5D Mark II and Steadicam Merlin from Vladimir Chaloupka on Vimeo.

    Check out some videos shot on the Canon 5D using the Steadicam Merlin HERE

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    Posted by Dave in Gear, Shooting Tips || Comment Now ||